Ficelle Mixte...yes, a Ficelle...??


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HARPO

I live for the CABE
Dec 28, 2010
1,672
1,810
Floral Park, NY, United States
#1
OK, until I saw this bike advertised along with the Raleigh Grand Prix I bought the other day from the same owner, I never heard of this marque. That's why I only bought the Raleigh. But when I did a little research on here, I saw that @Rollonby7474 and @bikerbluz had one, so I figured what the heck. And all the info from @juvela helped because I couldn't find out anything. So, I went back and bought it.

It's about as low end as I've ever had, but upon closer inspection, it was in really nice condition. Just dirty from sitting many years with the original owner in a nice, dry, basement.
Even the original Hutchinsen tires are still on it. And the "Wing Nuts" I don't think have ever been removed. I'll see when I begin to start cleaning.

The bike is a nice white with hand-done blue pinstripping, a contrast from the ghastly foil decals that adorn the rest of the bike. Money needed to be saved somewhere I guess. Decal says Made In France, but it was said here that they believe that Belgium was more than
likely the country of origin.

The owner told me if the bike didn't sell (he was moving), he was going to have to put it to the curb. I couldn't let that happen. So into my SUV went a another bike. I don't know what I'll do with it when I'm done, but I couldn't let it be thrown out for trash...especially for only $10... :p


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juvela

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Aug 2, 2014
974
1,449
Playa del Rey, United States
#2
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Thanks very much for sharing this find HARPO! ;)

Your usual outstanding job with the imagery.

---

Frame -

constructed with NERVEX lug set of pattern 45/159
upper head lug NERVEX Nr. 220
lower head lug NERVEX Nr. 237
seat lug NERVEX Ref. EF

crown NERVEX "pattern Nr. 1"

dropouts NERVEX 1037 G

shell: Raccords Gargatte Freres

pump pegs NERVEX Nr. 845

housing stops NERVEX Nr. 821

interesting the way the laterals are connected to the seat tube; instead of using the usual laterals bridge a simple tubular bridge was used connected to the rear of the seat tube with a fillet

---

Fittings -

chaineset UNIVERSEL brand by A. Duprat, from observation, launch of this model seems to have been ~1969.

bottom bracket fittings are VEROT, produced by Etablissements Verot-Perrin, makers of Stronglight brand products.
the black oxide finish fixed cup appears it may have eight sides. if this is the case it indicates that shell is of CH thread.

Freres Huret gear ensemble with model 700 front paired with Svelto rear.

CLB RACER centrepull brakes paired with MAFAC levers. Weinmann rear cable anchor not original.

pedals: the not oft encountered Lyotard Model Nr. 25 R

Normandy Sport hubs with Freres Huret wingnuts

Rigida SUPER CHROMIX 36 hole 27 X 1 1/4" rims, you could check them to see if there is a date inside the small diamond symbol.

spokes look to be Robergel plain gauge galvanized, 15ga.

seat binder a hardware store replacement. mounted backwards. note that it is too long and unkeyed. original would have been an ALGI.
CLB rear brake hanger mounted upside down.

gear block likely Atom. you could check it for markings.

spoke protector Freres Huret Nr. 998.

wonder if stem & bar set original. bend appears asian. you could check bar ends for marking. also portion of stem inside steerer for marking. good possibility cycle may have left factory with an upright bar. this could explain mismatch of brake calipers and levers. also, the white plastic wrap is not of a pattern which would have come from France. more like asia or possibly Hunt-Wilde. pattern of Pryma saddle supports idea bar originally upright.

gotta luv the angle of the aftermarket rear reflector. maybe if an orbiting satellite were to shoot down a beam of light it might be activated...

---

Dating -

appears to hail from ~1969-1972 time


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HARPO

I live for the CABE
Dec 28, 2010
1,672
1,810
Floral Park, NY, United States
#3
------

Thanks very much for sharing this find HARPO! ;)

Your usual outstanding job with the imagery.

---

Frame -

constructed with NERVEX lug set of pattern 45/159

crown NERVEX "pattern Nr. 1"

dropouts NERVEX 1037 G

shell Gargatte Freres

pump pegs NERVEX Nr. 845

housing stops NERVEX Nr. 821

interesting the way the laterals are connected to the seat tube; instead of using the usual laterals bridge a simple tubular bridge was used connected to the rear of the seat tube with a fillet

---

Fittings -

chaineset UNIVERSEL brand by A. Duprat, from observation, launch of this model seems to have been ~1969.

Freres Huret gear ensemble with model 700 front paired with Svelto rear.

CLB RACER centrepull brakes paired with MAFAC levers. Weinmann rear cable anchor not original.

pedals: the not oft encountered Lyotard Model Nr. 25 R

Normandy Sport hubs with Freres Huret wingnuts

Rigida SUPER CHROMIX 36 hole 27 X 1 1/4" rims, you could check them to see if there is a date inside the small diamond symbol.

seat binder a hardware store replacement. mounted backwards. note that it is too long and unkeyed. original would have been an ALGI.
CLB rear brake hanger mounted upside down.

gear block likely Atom. you could check it for markings.

spoke protector Freres Huret Nr. 998.

wonder if stem & bar set original. bend appears asian. you could check bar ends for marking. also portion of stem inside steerer for marking.

-----
Thanks @juvela Roger, as usual, for more of a breakdown than people at the factory probably knew, lol!

BTW...you're up early to respond at this hour on your side of the world!!!
 

juvela

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Aug 2, 2014
974
1,449
Playa del Rey, United States
#4
---
Thanks @juvela Roger, as usual, for more of a breakdown than people at the factory probably knew, lol!

BTW...you're up early to respond at this hour on your side of the world!!!
-----

...as with so many olde ffolke, i sleep poorly and was up this AM at 04:00 local time...


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Likes: HARPO

HARPO

I live for the CABE
Dec 28, 2010
1,672
1,810
Floral Park, NY, United States
#5
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...as with so many olde ffolke, i sleep poorly and was up this AM at 04:00 local time...


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Hey, I'm 67...and usually up between 6-7 every morning, lol! :oops:

BW...your dating sounds right on as the Raleigh I bought from this person was of 1972 vintage. Probably a "his and hers" purchase...
 

HARPO

I live for the CABE
Dec 28, 2010
1,672
1,810
Floral Park, NY, United States
#6
I just filled the tires with air in what I believe are the original tubes...and it's holding!! Real rubber, I'd guess. But I'm waiting to see if the sidewalls begin to crumble...:fearscream:
 

juvela

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Aug 2, 2014
974
1,449
Playa del Rey, United States
#7
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Mind how you go; those Hutchinsons are rated at only 70PSI [when NEW, about forty-eight years ago! :eek:].

Inflating lets you know tubes are good.

If left inflated a blowout is risked. Then you would need to replace tubes as well as tyres...

Suggest full deflation or reduced pressure until such time as you are ready to fit new rubber.

---

Spanner twistin' tip -

crankarms are very much out of registration.

perhaps one pin is loose or perhaps one pin mounted so that head leads in the rotation and the other mounted so that tail leads.

another possibility is that one may have been replaced with a pin of the wrong dimension.

needs seeing to in any event...

(correct pins for the machine are 9.0mm in diameter with a "medium" cut)

EDIT -

from images provided was able to determine that pins mismounted.
the drive side wedgebolt is set so that tail leads in pedaling rotation whist non-drive wedgebolt set so that head leads.
non-drive wedgebolt appears original while driveside partner appears a replace-a-mente.
someone uninformed has been at the machine's bottom bracket...


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Last edited:
Likes: HARPO

HARPO

I live for the CABE
Dec 28, 2010
1,672
1,810
Floral Park, NY, United States
#8
-----

Mind how you go; those Hutchinsons are rated at only 70PSI [when NEW, about forty-eight years ago! :eek:].

Inflating lets you know tubes are good.

If left inflated a blowout is risked. Then you would need to replace tubes as well as tyres...

Suggest full deflation or reduced pressure until such time as you are ready to fit new rubber.

---

Spanner twistin' tip -

crankarms are very much out of registration.

perhaps one pin is loose or perhaps one pin mounted so that head leads in the rotation and the other mounted so that tail leads.

another possibility is that one may have been replaced with a pin of the wrong dimension.

needs seeing to in any event...

(correct pins for the machine are 9.0mm in diameter with a "medium" cut)

EDIT -

from images provided was able to determine that pins mismounted.
the drive side wedgebolt is set so that tail leads in pedaling rotation whist non-drive wedgebolt set so that head leads.
non-drive wedgebolt appears original while driveside partner appears a replace-a-mente.
someone uninformed has been at the machine's bottom bracket...


-----
@juvela I forgot to say Thank You for noticing the pin issue. I haven't even had a chance to get to the bike since taking the photos, but now I have a different starting point. I wonder how long ago this was done incorrectly? Or...incorrect from the factory as the bike appears to not have a lot of road miles on it?? But with different pins, doubtful a factory worker was at fault.
In any event, something to fix as opposed to just detail.

Ironically, this was also the case on a Raleigh Sports I bought last year. Weird...
 
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juvela

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Aug 2, 2014
974
1,449
Playa del Rey, United States
#9
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wrt the wedgebolts -

not incorrect from the factory as the the pins are not identical, a functional match but not identical

whoever "serviced" the BB may be the same person who perpetrated the bar change...
whenst opportunity presents, wouldst be curious to learn how they shoehorned that stem into a metric steerer - expect it was taken down by hand - or perhaps they found an .833 lying about and stuck that in there! :anguished:

happy to read information of assistance :wink:

---

NB -

added some further information to post Nr. two above

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Last edited:
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jimbo53

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Jul 17, 2015
687
1,362
Charlotte NC
#10
Neat bike! Brings back memories - when I was in college at USC (South Carolina, not the left coast one...) in the mid 70’s. I used to do bike repair in my dorm room and worked on this mfg, lots of Peugeots, Motobecanes, Liberias, and of course Raleigh’s. Lugwork was nice but the paint on these low to mid level Euro bikes didn’t hold up very well. Easy to work on and when adjusted properly we’re nice riding bikes. Also remember pretty co-ed’s paying me in beer at the student union, but that’s another story...
 
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harpon

Finally riding a big boys bike
Jan 8, 2012
155
135
Jacksonville FL
#11
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CLB RACER centrepull brakes paired with MAFAC levers. Weinmann rear cable anchor not original.

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Not original, but so much easier to draw tight- thanks to that simple cut out area in the middle that allows the cable to drop straight through, and not push it to the side as with the original hanger. While working in bike shops back in the day, I didn't care for Mafac brakes and largely for that very reason. Try as you might, the cable wouldn't pull tightly to the side leaving a loose cable and sloppy adjustment to be compensated by the adjustable pad rods..
 
Likes: HARPO

HARPO

I live for the CABE
Dec 28, 2010
1,672
1,810
Floral Park, NY, United States
#12
@juvela The steerer tube was actually a bit loose and off center (it wasn't lined up properly with the wheel) and tightened very easily. Nothing shoehorned about it...

Ironically, this is the cheapest French bike I've ever owned...a stark comparison to the 1975 Motobecane Le Champion I have (original except for the rear rim and tires. I do have the original saddle). :)

DSC00881.JPG
 
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juvela

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Aug 2, 2014
974
1,449
Playa del Rey, United States
#13
@juvela The steerer tube was actually a bit loose and off center (it wasn't lined up properly with the wheel) and tightened very easily. Nothing shoehorned about it... :)
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Not following you here. The only place for the steerer to be loose is at the crown - as in fork coming apart.

We must have a terminology difference...

My comment regarding "shoehorning" referred to how the replacement stem may have been fitted into the metric steerer.

Do you mean to say that headset was loose?

Wheel sitting in fork off-centre due to axle not being fitted all the way into fork ends?

Afraid you have lost me. :confused:

Since your eyes and hands are the ones on the scene it be all good. ;)


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HARPO

I live for the CABE
Dec 28, 2010
1,672
1,810
Floral Park, NY, United States
#14
@juvela Stem appears to be original
IMG_6884.jpg


IMG_6885.jpg


. And I was referring to the top bolt on the stem not being tight. I was able to move the handlebars a bit side to side. Otherwise, all is tight and moves freely.
 

juvela

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Aug 2, 2014
974
1,449
Playa del Rey, United States
#15
------

Thank you for the response, information and photos.

The logo on the head of the stem binder is of a chair.

Chair is brand of cycle components from Nippon and would definitely not have been original on a frankish machine of this epoch.

They are probably best known for their hubs.

It is unlikely that stem diameter is the 21.9mm - 22.0mm needed to fit a metric steerer.

It would have either begun life as a 22.2mm and been taken down or is more likely an .833 which is why it was wobbling in there.

As mentioned in an earlier post, you could check the portion of the stem inside the steerer for markings as well as the ends of the bar.

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HARPO

I live for the CABE
Dec 28, 2010
1,672
1,810
Floral Park, NY, United States
#16
------

Thank you for the response, information and photos.

The logo on the head of the stem binder is of a chair.

Chair is brand of cycle components from Nippon and would definitely not have been original on a frankish machine of this epoch.

They are probably best known for their hubs.

It is unlikely that stem diameter is the 21.9mm - 22.0mm needed to fit a metric steerer.

It would have either begun life as a 22.2mm and been taken down or is a .833 which is why it was wobbling in there.

As mentioned in an earlier post, you could check the portion of the stem inside the steerer for markings as well as the ends of the bar.

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It wasn’t wobbling LOL just loose But I do appreciate the additional information
 

juvela

Wore out three sets of tires already!
Aug 2, 2014
974
1,449
Playa del Rey, United States
#17
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Understanding what may be going on there -

there are three (main) sizes of steerer i.d.:

.833 (7/8") which is employed on Schwinn, numerous other American marques and some machines emanating from Honshu

22.0mm: the metric ("French") size which is what the bicycle has

22.2mm: which is the "English", or BSC, or ISO size

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a 22.2mm Chair stem would not fit in the bicycle's steerer so it it likely to be the .833 size

the fit between stem and steerer is supposed to be a slip, almost interference, fit

fitment of an .833 stem in a 22.0mm steerer leaves space/play

in order to take this up the assembler, "mechanic" in this case, must overtighten the expander in an effort to take this up

this results in a damaged steerer with a bulge, "goiter", where the expander plug was sited

if you were to withdraw the fork and examine the steerer this deformation would likely be readily evident

in riding the bicycle, if the rider were to pull hard on the bar they would probably feel the slight play/give

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Last edited:
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